My good friend Leah just broke up with her marrying-material still-in-love boyfriend of many years. She took unpaid leave from a safe and well paying job, and will soon be leaving for a year (at least that’s the plan for now) to volunteer somewhere in Africa, work for the UN, or do that thing they usually do in movies with “chick flick” titles.
No prejudice here against anyone, or the film genre for that matter. And no bias against finding yourself and following your true passion either. After all, I’m the believer here. I’m just stating the obvious. The mainstream film industry and its parent pop culture in most western societies today love to refer to anything emotional, thought-provoking, and off-the-beaten track as overly sentimental, unrealistic, and far removed from the things that really matter in life. Since I haven’t been reading newspapers and haven’t been watching the news for over a year now, I’m thankfully having a hard time remembering what those “real issues” they’d like me to be worried about are. And yes, the world needs help. For the last 6000 years it has been in need of our assistance. But the help starts with you and me. It starts with Leah.
Leah said she wanted to find herself in what she truly believes in: making a difference in her and other people’s lives through personal contribution. Helping others and truly enjoying the experience. Is she afraid? Yes. Has she been crying? Yes. Did they call her crazy for dismantling a prospective future for something undefined, even whimsical? You bet. But I know that by feeling the fear and doing it anyway, by crying and laughing at the same time, and doing “crazy” exciting things that lie ahead Leah will make a difference in the world. She will be herself, and she will have trusted her heart. What eventually becomes of her effort is less important than who she will become. Saying no to good to make space for great in her life will truly have been worth it. What other guarantee could one wish for but that what we desire is worthwhile the tears, worthwhile the fears, and worthwhile the effort.
Leah had doubts. She thought herself incapable of independence. She thought her past had showed her that she lacked courage to raise her anchor and sail off to face her true passion out there in the offing. There is no money to be made doing what we truly want to do, someone told her. Get a real job! Get a mortgage! Marrying your long-term boyfriend is the sensible thing to do, Leah believed. And yet, she is moving out. She is buying her one way ticket. And she is getting her vaccinations up-to-date. She listened to her inner voice. When I spoke to her she had a shine to her that felt catchy. It felt so right. She has paid her dues to feeling sorry about the break-up. And she has certainly had her fair share of giving in to regret and limiting thoughts. She did not repress them though. She embraced them. She shared her feelings with her world and friends. And that’s why her ex remains her best friend. That’s why they are not closing the door to being together in the future. He is happy to pursue his dreams too. In any case, doors never close on us if we choose to let them be.
Next time you say or hear, “I should have” please consider this. There is a difference between limiting beliefs and intuition. Limiting beliefs may trip you up, but intuition will prop you up. Both may wield its powers in the realm of subconscious until we become aware of them. Do away with your limiting beliefs, but honour your intuition. Sometimes what you might consider to be a limiting belief may in fact be your intuition giving you feedback.
How to tell the difference? Limiting beliefs associate with fear a lot. Intuition keeps company with courage. Limiting beliefs dwell on the past. Intuition is always present. Limiting beliefs are often cause of inaction. Intuition prods us into action. Action goes both ways: you may choose to continue doing something thinking you need to conquer your limiting beliefs. But taking action in the opposite, by taking another path altogether may be the right thing. And what’s right usually feels right.
Taking action gives rise to intuitive advice. Believe your intuition as you would believe advice from a wise person. Your courage to do so may just do away with your limiting beliefs too. What more could you heart for?